Mukti believes that great teachers are essential for a great education. To ensure that teachers stay up-to-date with current educational trends, continuous training is vital. Thus, Mukti embarked on a journey to provide training in English, Mathematics, and Sciences – the three subjects often found wanting in rural settings. The first step was the English teachers’ training, an essential subject as a second language.
Guided by Mr. Debashish Pandey, a devoted educator and Mukti’s close associate, a baseline survey was conducted. The survey aimed to gather valuable insights into teachers’ qualifications, the challenges they face while teaching English and their expectations from the training. Teachers from all sixty-five Mukti Support Schools (MSS) responded through a Google form questionnaire.
In line with Mr. Pandey’s advice, the responsibility of training the teachers was entrusted to POET (Professional Outreach for English Teachers), an organization dedicated to supporting teachers’ professional development. The POET team, comprised of expert members like Ms. Kuheli Mukherjee, Ms. Sutapa Mukherjee, and Manish Panda, all the alumni of the Dept. of States, USA, alumni of the University of Leeds, UK, brought their rich experiences as exchange. Ms. Kuheli Mukherjee is a fellow of Hornby Education Trust, UK. Their expertise in training English teachers in various workshops for WBBSE, WBCHSE, and WB Madrasa Board made them the perfect choice.
Drawing from the survey findings and adhering to the recommendations of Educational Policies in NCERT and SCERT, POET designed educational modules for Mukti’s teachers’ training. The comprehensive training spanned 50 hours and was planned in six to seven phases to accommodate the geographical challenges posed by MSS’s widespread presence in different districts.
The first phase of the training commenced with English teachers from MSS in South 24 Parganas. The inaugural program, held on 22nd and 23rd July ’23 at Krishnachandrapur High School (HS), Mathurapur block, witnessed the enthusiastic participation of 40 teachers from 35 MSS. Despite incessant rain and challenging commutes from remote islands like Patharpratima and Sagar, the teachers’ dedication shone through.
The two-day workshop kicked off with a ceremonial lamp-lighting and a rendition of the song ‘Amar mukti aloe aloe’. Esteemed guests and members of the Board of Trustees, including Sri Madhusudan Bairagi, shared their vision for Mukti’s education initiatives. Dr. Sandeep Ghosh, the head of the Education Group, elaborated on Mukti’s educational activities and the significance of teachers’ training. POET representative, Kuheli Mukherjee, elucidated the organization’s objectives and its numerous educational research initiatives. Trainers Sutapa Mukherjee and Manish Panda provided insights into the workshop’s design and plans.
The interactive sessions involved group activities, sharing of contextual challenges, and the introduction of modern pedagogical concepts. Topics like activity-based learning, group and pair learning, collaborative learning, and art-integrated learning were explored. Trainees actively engaged in designing lesson plans, displaying their agility and enthusiasm throughout.
The workshop concluded on a positive note, with trainees providing feedback through Google Forms. The well-organized logistics and arrangements received appreciation from all participants and coordinators involved. With the success of this English teachers’ training, Mukti is optimistic that such workshops will play a pivotal role in enhancing English education for students in the days to come.